Wednesday, 8 June 2016

'Me Before You' Review

Whenever you're usually sat in a theatre with a group of childish and joking teenagers who are your friends and a romance film trailer pops up, the first reaction is usually to ridicule or turn it down immediately. This was the case with 'Me Before You' which unfairly became the target of our jokes. However the actual quality of the film doesn't deserve that leading to one of the biggest surprises I've had this year at the cinema.

Will Traynor (Sam Claflin) seems to have a great, adventurous life until he his hit by a motorcycle which damages his spinal cord and leaves most of his body paralysed. In order to try lift his spirits, his mother looks for a carer to come and help care for him and be good company. Desperate Louisa Clark (Emilia Clarke) is looking for a job and lands the opportunity to care for Will. Will is not good company at first but Louisa doesn't give up as the two grow closer as they deal with their own problems.

I really didn't expect to get much enjoyment from this film at all. It's not usually what would appeal to me and I was really sceptical going into this. Thankfully the film is a lot more entertaining than I expected. This is mainly due to the two leads in the film. Now do they produce the greatest performances ever? No, they are borderline bad at times throughout the film. However in saying this, they were entertaining for the most part of the film. Clarke's bubbly personality seems to have transcended over to this role which makes for a pleasant viewing. Her character is instantly likeable with her clumsiness and charming ways. Claflin's character Will doesn't gain as much sympathy as he should at the start but once he stops trying to distance himself from Louisa, he does start to become a more interesting character who you feel for as the story progresses.

From the genre, trailer and general synopsis, you expect this to be quite the emotional tearjerker. However the film seems to lose track of this at times and is mainly just a comedy. It loses focus at times which does effect the impact of the film as it starts to lose focus of the severity of what is happening. Although this does allow the film to be quite entertaining, it can't be denied that the impact does damage the film when it comes to those more emotional moments. 

The ending of the film really doesn't deliver as much as you would hope it would which may be in part to the large part of the film being joyous. It can also be said that the ending seemed slightly rushed into as they kind of just fall into the ending. The last scene featuring the two is pretty quick and doesn't create a situation that would leave members of the audience fully effected. I really feel that if they took a bit more time to maybe make this a complete a 2 hour feature film, it would have had a much more powerful ending.

In saying that though, the film does do quite well to make you care about the characters. Obviously it doesn't take much to feel for Will as it is clearly a very tragic injury. It does well to build on this as it shows Will previously being quite the 'action man' as he thoroughly enjoys travelling and completing extreme sports. Louisa also has her own troubles but this time at her home where her sister wants to leave home, her dad can't get a job and that she is the sole breadwinner despite wanting to break away from her mundane home. These aren't helped by her current boyfriend Patrick (Matthew Lewis) who is more interested in fitness rather than doing something nice for his girlfriend. Not quite the same severity of problems compared to Will but nevertheless something that ordinary people are more likely to relate to.

A great part this film that also helps the emotional sides of this comes with the soundtrack. Although the tone is misguided at times, some of the songs within the film do help bring the emotion to make up for it a little. Tracks from Jesse Ware and Ed Sheeran do a great job and are perfect in the moments they appear in. It does add an extra something to the film which you hope all soundtracks do. 

Final Verdict = 

The film could've been much more powerful and more focussed at times but I have to give credit where it's due. This film certainly entertained me and didn't feel too long at any time which made for quite the enjoyable viewing. One of the more surprising films I've seen this year.

So have you seen Me Before You? If so what did you think of the film? I hope you enjoyed this review and that it was useful for if you were planning on seeing the film. Once again, thank you for reading my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor